29 December 2006

kaito will resell the redsun rp2100

Intriguing news for those interested in China's newest radio manufacturer Redsun: the Kaito USA website lists a new product labeled KA2100. This appears to be the same product as the Redsun RP2100. The list price for the KA2100 is US$129.95, which is a hefty premium over the prices currently available on eBay, when ordering an RP2100 directly from China.

This gives Kaito a product to compete with the Grundig/Eton S350DL. The connections among Chinese radio manufacturers is somewhat puzzling:

* Tecsun manufactures Kaito's WRX911
* Tecsun's BCL-3000 is also sold as the Grundig/Eton S350DL (among other products)
* Kailong (aka Kaide/Kchibo) manufactures the YB400PE / G4000A for Grundig/Eton
* Degen radios (many, not all) are sold in North America under the Kaito name
* Kaito sold the KA1106 design to Grundig/Eton, which sells it as the E5 / G5
* Now, Redsun's RP2100 will be resold in North America as the Kaito KA2100

This looks like a positive development for Kaito, and a potential problem for Eton unless they can come up with a strong update to the S350DL.

28 December 2006

eton e5 travel case

I found a nice travel case for my Eton E5, and I didn't have to spend any money because I already owned it:







There's about a 3/4" gap along the top, and a 1 1/3" gap along the side. It's a snug fit top-to-bottom.

I checked Amazon, but didn't see these for sale there. I bought it a few years ago. It was made by A.L.S. Industries Inc. from Torrance, California.

17 December 2006

mediumwave logs, autumn 2006

My first attempt at mediumwave DX was in April 2006, when I logged 89 stations with my Tecsun BCL-2000. I just completed another round, during November and the first half of December 2006. Using three of my radios and more favorable conditions, I logged 126 stations.

My previous list of logged mediumwave stations provided a starter guide. Once I picked up a signal, I stayed with it until I verified the callsign or station slogan, or I found an online audio stream to compare against. After logging a good number of stations, I wrote a station wishlist on an index card to guide me to the more important/likely frequencies. That list included nearby stations and some further-away stations that I expected to get. That helped me identify at least 15 more stations.

Some of the stations that I logged for the first time are located in:
Boise, Idaho
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Portland, Oregon
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Reno, Nevada
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Alas, nothing from Alaska, Hawaii, or Texas. First-time logs are listed with (New).

540: CBK (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada) 50 kW (New)
550: KOAC (Corvallis, OR) 5 kW (New)
560: KSFO (San Francisco, CA) 5 kW
570: KVI (Seattle, WA) 5 kW (New)
580: KMJ (Fresno, CA) 50 kW
590: KUGN (Eugene, OR) 5 kW
600: KOGO (San Diego, CA) 5 kW
610: KEAR (Berkeley, CA) 5 kW
620: KPOJ (Portland, OR) 25 kW day, 10 kW night (New)
630: KIDD (Monterey, CA) 1 kW
630: KPLY (Reno, NV) 5 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
640: KFI (Los Angeles, CA) 50 kW
650: KSTE (Rancho Cordova, CA) 21.4 kW day, 0.92 kW night
660: KTNN (Window Rock, AZ) 50 kW
670: KBOI (Boise, ID) 50 kW (New)
680: KNBR (San Francisco, CA) 50 kW
690: CBU / CBC Radio One (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 50 kW
700: KXLX (Spokane, WA) 10 kW day, 0.6 kW night (New)
710: KFIA (Sacramento, CA) 25 kW day, 1 kW night
710: KIRO (Seattle, WA) 50 kW (New)
720: KDWN (Las Vegas, NV) 50 kW
730: CHMJ (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 50 kW (New)
740: KCBS (San Francisco, CA) 50 kW
750: KHWG (Fallon, NV) 7.5 kW day, 0.25 kW night (New)
750: KOAL (Price, UT) 10 kW day, 6.8 kW night
750: KXL (Portland, OR) 50 kW day, 20 kW night
760: KFMB (San Diego, CA) 5 kW day, 50 kW night
770: KKOB (Albuquerque, NM) 50 kW
770: KCBC (Riverbank, CA) 50 kW day, 1 kW night
780: KKOH (Reno, NV) 50 kW
790: KABC (Los Angeles, CA) 5 kW
790: KFPT (Clovis, CA) 5 kW day, 2.5 kW night (New)
790: KWSW (Eureka, CA) 5 kW day, 0.11 kW night (New)
810: KGO (San Francisco, CA) 50 kW
830: KNCO (Grass Valley, CA) 5 kW
840: KMPH (San Francisco, CA) what a lame signal! - 5 kW (New)
850: KOA (Denver, CO) 50 kW
860: CFPR (Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada) 10 kW day, 2.5 kW night (New)
870: KRLA (Glendale, CA) 20 kW day, 3 kW night
870: WWL (New Orleans, LA) 50 kW
880: KKMC (Salinas, CA) 10 kW
890: KDXU (St. George, UT) 10 kW
900: CKMO (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) 10 kW (New)
900: KBIF (Fresno, CA) 1 kW day, 0.5 kW night (New)
910: KNEW (Oakland, CA) 20 kW day, 5 kW night
920: KIHM (Reno, NV) 4.6 kW day, 0.85 kW night
920: KVIN (Ceres, CA) 0.5 kW day, 2.5 kW night (New)
920: KXLY (Spokane, WA) 20 kW day, 5 kW night (New)
930: KSEI (Pocatello, ID) 5 kW (New)
940: KWRU (Visalia, CA) 50 kW
950: KAHI (Auburn, CA) 5 kW
960: KQKE (Oakland, CA) 5 kW
970: KCMD (Portland, OR) 5 kW (New)
980: CKNW (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 50 kW (New)
980: KFWB (Los Angeles, CA) 5 kW
990: KATD (Pittsburg, CA) 5 kW
1000: KOMO (Seattle, WA) 50 kW
1010: KIQI (San Francisco, CA) 10 kW day, 0.5 kW night
1030: KTWO (Casper, WY) 50 kW
1050: KTCT (San Francisco, CA) 50 kW
1070: KNX (Los Angeles, CA) 50 kW
1080: KFXX (Portland, OR) 50 kW day, 10 kW night (New)
1080: KSCO (Santa Cruz, CA) 10 kW day, 5 kW night
1090: XEPRS (Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico) 50 kW
1100: KFAX (San Francisco, CA) 50 kW
1110: KDIS (Pasadena, CA) 50 kW day, 20 kW night (New)
1120: KPNW (Eugene, OR) 50 kW
1120: KZSJ (San Martin, CA) 5 kW day, 0.15 kW night
1130: CKWX (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) 50 kW (New)
1130: KRDU (Dinuba, CA) 5 kW day, 6.2 kW night
1140: KHTK (Sacramento, CA) 50 kW
1150: KTLK (Los Angeles, CA) 50 kW day, 44 kW night
1160: KSL (Salt Lake City, UT) 50 kW
1170: KLOK (San Jose, CA) 50 kW day, 5 kW night
1180: KERI (Bakersfield, CA) 50 kW day, 10 kW night
1190: KEX (Portland, OR) 50 kW
1190: KDYA (Vallejo, CA) 1 kW day only
1200: KYAA Radio Humsafar (Soquel, CA) 25 kW day, 10 kW night
1220: KNTS (Palo Alto, CA) 50 kW
1230: KPRL (Paso Robles, CA) 1 kW (New)
1240: KSUE (Susanville, CA) 1 kW (New)
1260: KOIT (San Francisco, CA) 5 kW day, 1 kW night (same signal is carried on FM 96.5 mhz)
1270: KBZZ (Sparks, NV) 13 kW day, 5 kW night
1280: KXTK (Arroyo Grande, CA) 10 kW day, 2.5 kW night
1290: KAZA (Gilroy, CA) 5 kW day, 0.088 kW night
1300: KCMY (Carson City, NV) 5 kW day, 0.5 kW night (New)
1310: KMKY (Oakland, CA) 5 kW
1320: KCTC (Sacramento, CA) 5 kW (New)
1330: KLBS (Los Banos, CA) 0.42 kW day, 5 kW night (New)
1340: KYNS (San Luis Obispo, CA) 0.79 kW (New)
1350: KSRO (Santa Rosa, CA) 5 kW
1360: KFIV (Modesto, CA) 5 kW
1370: KZSF (San Jose, CA) 5 kW
1380: KTKZ (Sacramento, CA) 5 kW (New)
1390: KLTX (Long Beach, CA) 5 kW day, 3.6 kW night (New)
1400: KVTO (Berkeley, CA) 1 kW
1410: KERN (Bakersfield, CA) 1 kW
1420: KSTN (Stockton, CA) 5 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1430: KFIG (Fresno, CA) 5 kW
1440: KVON (Napa, CA) 5 kW day, 1 kW night
1440: KINF (Santa Maria, CA) 5 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1450: KEST (San Francisco, CA) 1 kW
1460: KABL (Salinas, CA) 10 kW (New)
1470: KIID (Sacramento, CA) 5 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1470: KUTY (Palmdale, CA) 5 kW (New)
1480: KYOS (Merced, CA) 5 kW
1490: KTOB (Petaluma, CA) 1 kW
1500: KSJX (San Jose, CA) 10 kW day, 5 kW night
1510: KFNN (Mesa, AZ) 22 kW day, 0.1 kW night (New)
1510: KGA (Spokane, WA) 50 kW (New)
1510: KPIG (Piedmont, CA) 8 kW day, 0.23 kW night
1520: KVTA (Port Hueneme, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1530: KFBK (Sacramento, CA) 50 kW
1540: KMPC The Ticket (Los Angeles, CA) 50 kW
1550: KYCY/KYOU radio (San Francisco, CA) 10 kW
1560: KNZR (Bakersfield, CA) 25 kW day, 10 kW night
1580: KMIK (Phoenix, AZ) 50 kW (New)
1590: KLIV (San Jose, CA) 5 kW
1600: KUBA (Yuba City, CA) 5 kW day, 2.5 kW night
1620: KSMH (Sacramento, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1640: KDIA (Vallejo, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night
1650: KFOX (Torrance, CA) 10 kW day, 0.49 kW night (New)
1670: KNRO (Redding, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1680: KAVT (Fresno, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1690: KFSG (Roseville, CA) 10 kW day, 1 kW night (New)
1700: XEPE (Tecate, Baja California, Mexico) ?? kW

This time, I only had a few empty frequencies: 530, 800, 820, 1020, 1040, 1060, 1210, 1250, 1570, 1610, 1630, 1660.

There were two stations that I believe I heard, but was unable to confirm:

780: KAZM (Sedona, AZ) 5 kW day, 0.25 kW night
1480: something near Missouri. Before local sunrise on December 16, I heard a commercial for "Max Motors", a car dealer located in Missouri, on 1480 khz. The web address provided in this commercial was max71.com.

I also did not attempt to identify several distant broadcasts that were in Spanish.

Sources:
http://www.coasttocoastam.com/affiliates/aa.html
http://www.ac6v.com/clearam.htm
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/amq.html
http://theradiosource.com/articles-news-ears-across-america.htm
http://www.ontheradio.net/
http://www.radio-locator.com/

[Note: I will add station links at a later time. Time to pack for my trip...]

14 December 2006

thoughts on the kaito 1121

I'll be watching with interest as radio enthusiasts receive the new Kaito/Degen 1121. For those that don't know, the 1121 is a new product from a Chinese manufacturer and retailer that combines a digital radio receiver with a detachable 256MB mp3 player. Radiointel.com has been providing hints and images of this product for the past few months, and I hope they will be able to review it.

This is an oversimplification, but I view the 1121 as an Eton E5 plus a cheap mp3 player. The ability to easily record using a built-in device is intriguing, but 256MB is too small to get me interested in the product. If a built-in digital player could let me record multiple hours of archive-quality audio directly from the radio, I'd consider it. 256MB is too cramped, though. I ditched my 64kb Diamond Rio mp3 player when the first 5gb iPod was released over five years ago.

This isn't to say that I want the 1121 to be a failure in any way. I hope that this radio is built upon the excellent radio technology in the Degen 1103 and the Eton E5 (which was designed by Degen and sold to Eton). It's a powerful foundation for a dual-conversion digital receiver, and Degen could certainly keep building competitive products by enhancing and extending it.

12 December 2006

the end of the sangean line

A user on the rec.radio.shortwave newsgroup relayed part of a thread from avsforum.com. In the thread, a Sangean employee made an unofficial announcement about Sangean shifting its focus from shortwave:
No, Sangean will not release a new Shortwave radio. The closest thing to it will be our DRM-40, featuring DRM, Digital Radio Mondale, digital shortwave. The reason being that we have over the past 5 years seen a 50% reduction in the shortwave category. People unfortunately are not interested in SW.

The quote comes from this thread: Sangean HDT-1 Tuner.

11 December 2006

780 khz: talk radio battle

780 khz. Bill O'Reilly vs. George Noory. KKOH (Reno, Nevada; 50 kW) vs. KAZM (Sedona, AZ; 5 kW daytime, 0.25 kW nighttime). With Reno about 200 miles away and the more desirable Sedona over 700 miles away, the 50 kW station dominates the frequency every which way.

I wish I could take two identical radios, tune them to the same frequency, set one in DX mode and the other in local mode, then subtract one signal from the other. That should produce just the distant signal. That kind of setup would probably require software. It would only be a rare situation where I would want to manage a computer and two radios at the same time.

09 December 2006

radio mirchi is hot

I was searching on Orkut for communities related to radio. A surprising number of the communities referred to India's Radio Mirchi, so I searched again for radio mirchi. There are currently 48 Orkut communities that match this search.

To learn about this radio brand, check out Radio Mirchi on Wikipedia.

If anyone can point me to an online stream or any recordings of Radio Mirchi, I'd like to check it out.

distant am radio targets

I'm becoming more confident in my ability to estimate the distance of a mediumwave station when I hear it. The BCL-2000 will recite a distant signal at a lower volume, which makes the task easy, but the E5 compensates with some gain control. Some local broadcasts have weak signals; they can be identified by their clarity, steady volume, lack of directionality, context clues, and other factors.

My Eton E5 has taken over the mediumwave DX duties in recent days. When I take my east coast trip, I'll take the E5 with me for nighttime mediumwave DX. I'll focus on identifying distant signals rather than trying to comprehensively log every available station. I'm trying to figure out a protective travel case for the E5; any suggestions?

Here in California, I'm still seeking signals from Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and Texas. The distant north/south signals I'm picking up along the west coast suggest that plenty of long-range reception is possible. I haven't logged any stations at the same distance that Alaska and Hawaii are from me, but there's really nothing but water between us.

08 December 2006

1690 khz and the exciting conclusion

11:00pm PST, 08 Dec 2006: "KFSG, Roseville / Sacramento."

A nearby radio enthusiast named Mark let me know that KFSG has an English identification at the top of the hour. I tuned in a bit before 11pm, got a very clear signal, and heard the identification.

05 December 2006

more clues for 1690 khz

Several days ago, I picked up a strong nighttime signal on 1690 khz that I couldn't identify. As mentioned in a previous post, the signal had a new-age style song starting at the top of the hour and looping for several minutes.

Tonight, I had another strong signal from 1690 khz on my Eton E5. There was some russian, then english advertisements. At the top of the hour, I heard the same looped song as before, so I put the E5 near my computer in order to record the audio.

Here's a low-quality mp3 of the looped music (2m 40s, 627 kb):
mystery_signal_1690_khz_05_dec_2006.mp3

Can anyone identify the song, or even better, identify the station that loops this song?

I'm guessing that the station runs out of content in the evening, and keeps the transmitter on the air with this music loop.

I searched the FCC site for stations in the United States with a callsign starting with "K" and licensed to operate on 1690 khz. There were two matches:
* KFSG in Roseville, California
* KDDZ in Arvada, Colorado

The use of the russian language and the looped music to fill radio silence seems to rule out Radio Disney. Roseville is only about 90 miles away from me, which would explain the strong nighttime signal despite a nighttime transmitter strength of 1 kW for KFSG.

confiscation of shortwave radios in zimbabwe

A story from SW Radio Africa:

MDC allege police & Central Intelligence Organisation confiscating shortwave radios countrywide

The front page of swradioafrica.com includes this jarring graphic:

04 December 2006

identifying an espn radio affiliate

I spent half an hour this evening listening to 700 khz on my Eton E5. "ESPN radio" was announced several times, and the broadcast included sports headlines and football highlights. The radio show was identified as "GameNight". A stronger spanish signal faded in just before the top of the hour, so I thought my chance to identify this station was gone.

ESPN radio has a page of affiliate radio stations that can be filtered based on shows. I set the filter to GameNight, and found only one affiliate on 700 khz: KXLX in Spokane, Washington. Their nighttime power is 600 watts, and the station is about 800 miles away from me.

02 December 2006

us air force interfering with garage doors

The U.S. Air Force is using a particular radio frequency to communicate with first-responders in an effort to coordinate homeland security. But when the signal started beaming down from Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, it had a side-effect. "An estimated 50 million garage door openers use the frequency, although technically the Air Force has the right to it."

So the Air Force has the right to use the radio frequency that your garage door opener might use. Throw in a side of eminent domain, and you may just find a bomber parked in your two-car when you get home!

Full story:
Top-secret facility's signal disrupting garage doors

I'm not sure of which frequencies the Air Force is using, but the garage door opener wikipedia article says that many remotes for garage doors operate in the 300 - 400 mhz range.

01 December 2006

mediumwave dx wishlist

I've logged a lot of mediumwave stations over the past month. While many of us are making wishlists for the holidays, I made a wishlist of mediumwave stations that I still hope to log:





A circled frequency indicates that I haven't yet logged a station on that frequency. Likely callsigns are included along with the station's state. Values in parentheses show the station's signal strength in kilowatts. If two signal strengths are listed, it uses day-comma-night format.

As before (in April 2006 when I first tried mediumwave DXing), my Tecsun BCL-2000 is doing most of the work. This is the best photo I have of it at the moment, with poor lighting and unfortunately tuned to an FM signal:





(AM station information sources: ac6v.com, fcc.gov, theradiosource.com, ontheradio.net, radio-locator.com)